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Winners & Losers

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Winners & Losers

The tournament season is in full swing throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Sportfishing boats are making way up and down the East Coast, finding themselves in places such as Hatteras, Cape Fear, Swansboro, Morehead, Oregon Inlet, Charleston, Ocean City and Cape May. Some will even make the crossing to the billfish rich waters of Bermuda.

What is the draw for these crews? Some say it’s the money, and no doubt there are great riches to be won. Million dollar blue and white marlin are possible in multiple tournaments. For others, it’s their competitive spirit. Head to head competition against the very best anglers who are not afraid to back up their claims with their wallets. And lastly, some are just there for the comradery and parties. The captain’s party, pig pickin, nightly buffets and docks are teaming full of people enjoying one another’s company.

Tournament week can be a great deal of fun for all.

But there’s one thing for certain – in every tournament, there can only be one winner. Only one team or angler who will take the top prize, the big check and the premier spot on the podium. Sure, there are lots of ways to win your money back. But in the end, second place is just the first of many losers.

 

1 Corinthians 15:50-57 (ESV)

 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O death, where is your victory?

 O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Legendary Captain Omie Tillet has a famous saying that has been heard often on the VHF radio as he gives the morning prayer at The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. “Well boys,” he says, “there’s only going to be one winner of The Big Rock, but we are ALL winners in Jesus”. Those words are as true today as they were 2000 years ago when the Apostle Paul boldly proclaimed to the church of Corinth that there is victory in Christ Jesus!

God is Holy. Perfect. Righteous. The Law illustrates His absolute holiness and conversely, our sinfulness.  The Law is the command by which every person should live and also by which every person will be judged. The Law reveals our sinful nature. A nature found in the heart of all mankind, a nature that leads to death and eternal separation from our Holy Creator. Romans 3:23 states “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death”.

But God did not leave us to our own demise. He did not forsake His creation to a lost and helpless state. He sent His Son to be our Redeemer. Christ Jesus paid the price for our sinful nature and His resurrection proves there is victory over death!

In Christ, every believer is a winner, a victor over death. Death no longer has its grasp on us.

Yes, short of Christ returning, we will all die – every single one of us. However, Paul’s encouraging words to the Corinthians have the same power of hope for us today. One day, our perishable bodies will be exchanged for the imperishable, our mortal bodies will become immortal. We’ll be gloriously transformed in the presence of our Savior.

Are you in Christ? Do you believe with your entire being that Jesus is Savior and Lord? This is a question we must all ask ourselves – for the victory is not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Christ has done on our behalf.

Brother in Christ – you are a winner!

Tip:

There’s a great deal of money involved to participate in a sportfishing tournament. Entry fees, crew salaries, fuel and bait can all add up to a substantial amount. Even still, some boats head out with potential weak links. Tournament time is a good time to replace all the line on your reels, retie your double lines, make up fresh wind-on and leaders, pull out the fresh hooks and inventory your gear to ensure you have the right equipment on board. (DW)

 

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